Perioscope non-invasive treatment for gum disease
A perioscope is a tiny camera that is used on the end of a dental instrument which gently and comfortably fits under the gumline in order to allow your periodontist or hygienist to visualize the root surfaces of your teeth. For the first time the root surfaces can be effectively cleaned without traditional surgery. This means no cutting, sutures or prolonged healing times. This minimally invasive procedure is a first line of defense for treating periodontal (gum) disease.
What is a Perioscope?
The perioscope is a tiny camera attached to the tip of a dental instrument which allows your periodontist or hygienist to visualize your tooth roots. The image is magnified and displayed on a TV screen which can be viewed in real time. This makes it possible to gain access and remove to the plaque and hard deposits on your tooth root surfaces.
Perioscopy vs Traditional Surgical Methods
In previous years the only way to see your tooth roots was via invasive surgical procedures. The perioscope allows your doctor to clean your periodontal pockets and remove the plaque and tartar that is causing gum disease. There is usually little to no discomfort during or after perioscopy. Local anesthesia during the procedure and over the counter pain medications are typically used afterwards to ensure maximal comfort. Deep cleaning your roots helps your gums heal and actually feels even better than before. In addition to being non-invasive, the cost of perioscopy is typically one third less than gum surgery.
Am I a Candidate for Perioscopy?
If you have periodontal pockets that are deeper than 5 mm then you are a candidate. Deep pockets form as a result of disease causing bacteria under the gum line which remains out of reach of tooth brushes and traditional dental instruments. Removing this bacteria filled plaque and tartar along your tooth roots is a valuable method for treating periodontal disease and preventing tooth loss.
After the Procedure
Typically a perioscopy session lasts approximately 1-2 hours. Once the local anesthesia wears of you may return to eating normally without worry. Over the long term, periodontal maintenance will be important in order to keep your dental disease under control. Gum disease is an ongoing process to which there is no cure, so over time you will begin to see a recurrence after treatment. There are may factors which can cause this to happen including stress, poor dental hygiene habits and lack of maintenance. Some of the signs of reocurrence include bad breath, shifting of teeth, red, swollen, and bleeding gums and discomfort when chewing or drinking. Regular checkups and cleanings are recommended by your periodontist to ensure optimal results.